How Our Lady Saved the Philippines from the Dutch Calvinists June 28, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Our Lady, reading, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
We’ve all heard of Our Lady of Victory, aka Our Lady of the Rosary, who intervened on the Catholic side in the decisive naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571. However, I did not know, until I recently read, that this was not the only case where Our Lady decisively delivered Catholics from the military forces of non-believers. Indeed, a miracle perhaps even greater was worked over and over in Manila Bay, when protestant Dutch threatened to invade and conquer the Spanish Philippines. The Spanish were hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, and yet repeatedly defeated the Dutch. Yes, the battle was not as important, historically, as Lepanto, but a great manifestation of Our Lady’s intercession, nonetheless.
Via Miraculous Images of Our Lady by Joan Carroll Cruz:
…[T]he image of Our Lady of the Rosary was commissioned in 1593 by the Spanish governor of the Philippines, Luis Perez Dasmarinas, who wanted the statue to memorialize both his deceased father and his own regime. The statue was entrusted to the Dominicans in Manila and was enshrined in Santo Domingo church, where it received an outpouring of love and devotion.
Fifty three years later, in March 1646, while Spanish were…………outright enemies of the Dutch, the people were shocked to learn that a fleet of Dutch warships was bearing down on Manila. Carrying the triple threat of conquest, pillage, and Calvinism, the enemy had chosen a time when Spanish warships were unavailable for defense.
Two commercial galleons, The Rosary and The Incarnation, [The Spanish had the best ship names!] were donated by their owners and were quickly outfitted in preparation for battle. While sailing into position for the confrontation, the men prayed the Rosary and dedicated themselves to La Naval, “Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.”
The five Dutch ships were well equipped men of war, with cannons, firearms, and trained seamen; the two Spanish-Filipino cargo ships were poorly fitted with a few guns. At the end of the day, it seemed unbelievable that the Dutch fled the area while the defenders of the city returned home in glory, praising Our Lady for her protection.
For the next four months, the two cargo ships patrolled the waters. Then, in July, they discovered they had been trapped in a narrow strait by not five by seven Dutch ships. Since their position did not afford a proper angle for battle, they prayed and waited. Fearful that they would be attacked, they vowed that if they were victorious they would pilgrimage barefoot to the Church of Santo Domingo to thank Our Lady of the Rosary. Through the intercession of La Naval, the two cargo ships were apparently unseen in the fading sunset since the Dutch ships turned toward Manila without firing on them. The two cargo ships gave chase and closed in. At sunrise, the next day the Dutch retreated in disgrace. As soon as the victors arrived home, they gratefully fulfilled their vow.
After the next battle, the people of Manila began to call the cargo ships “the galleons of the miracle.” After the fourth confrontation and victory, the name was confirmed. Yet a fifth time the Dutch fleet appeared for battle. Anxious to defend their honor and restore their pride, the Dutch resolved to win at any cost. The advantage was definitely theirs when they found the two cargo ships anchored with the wind against them. Unable to move, the two cargo ships fought where they were and defeated the enemy so badly that they limped away, never to return.
Our Lady of the Rosary and the men of her two cargo ships defeated in total 15 well-equipped warships.
This victory at Manila is similar in many respects to the great victory at Lepanto, which was also credited to the intervention of Our Lady and the power of her Holy Rosary. In both instances, Our Lady miraculously defended and granted victory to the seamen who placed their trust in her.
A word about the Dutch Navy of the 17th century. The 17th century marked the peak of Dutch military and economic power. Their navy was second to none. They even dealt the wily and powerful Royal Navy of Britain several bitter defeats. I don’t know about the Dutch East Indies Squadron, which I assume was involved here, they may not have been as good as their home or Atlantic fleet, but these guys were not amateurs. They had a very highly trained and well-equipped navy with excellent doctrine and tactics. They were a match for anyone in the world at that time.
So, these were no small victories. They were all quite miraculous. We are so blessed to have such a mother to look after us in our times of direst need. Something to keep in mind for today.
And, I believe I may have found a new favorite image of Our Lady, better even than Our Lady of the Expectation, my previous favorite. There’s nothing more glorious than Baroque-period Spanish Catholic art!